Stargirl 3×03 Review – Supermarket Fight
Starman’s bloodlust leads him to hunt down and fight Paula and Crusher in the middle of a supermarket. It’s an explosive and impressive battle, but it also brings to light a lot of what’s going on behind the scenes inside Starman’s head and with the Crock family behind the doors. spoiler follow for star girl Season 3, Episode 3, “Frenemies: Chapter Three: The Blackmail”.
Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and the JSA receive an anonymous tip that may help them investigate the murder. Meanwhile, after being asked to find a balance, Sylvester (Joel McHale) delves into potential jobs at Blue Valley, while trying to figure out who he is without his Starman identity.
An important part of making a thriller successful is making sure there are plenty of suspects with valid motives, and that we’re constantly wondering who the culprit is as the possible answers are slowly narrowed down. At present, star girl is nailing it. Sticking the landing will be key to getting all that work done, but for now, it feels like an old-school classic comic book murder mystery.
So many suspects
We have all of these possible suspects – Sylvester, the Shadow, Paula and Crusher, Cindy, Cameron Mahkent – and it’s still hard to tell exactly who is allied where exactly. Cindy, for example, seems to be playing both sides when she tells Sylvester the player was blackmailing Paula and Crusher, but then seems totally sincere when she tells Courtney she was doing it to get Sylvester’s approval and so of the JSA. It fits with his spoken motives thus far, and the show doesn’t give in to the temptation to cut him off with a smirk or twirl his metaphorical mustache.
As this happens, we see Cameron Mahkent struggling to contain his anger, going after a teacher first, then Rick’s car, as his grandparents – the scariest characters on the show, honestly – running around doing who knows what in the background.
Sylvester has seemed increasingly unhinged, culminating in a late night supermarket battle between him and the Crock family. It’s an exciting, acrobatic battle with lots of explosions and it’s fun to watch, and it also serves to highlight a lot of different things. Pat is no longer content to let Sylvester run the show and has grown enough to stand up to him and push back. The Crock family seems to be thriving more and more. They’re weird and dangerous…but honest. The episode’s final moments, however, seem to remove him from the suspect list, yet still fail to solve the entirely separate mystery of why he’s even alive in the first place.
But the show doesn’t forget to develop characters while the whole murder mystery unfolds. Both Beth and Rick have noticed how other people’s families are reacting to their new lives. Rick’s uncle is totally absent, while Beth’s parents constantly call him with new ideas, theories, and costume suggestions. Paula continues to try to find a life after supervilliania, actively working to rejoin the community and earn Barbara’s friendship. Can anyone be scary and sweet? Because that’s the vibe I’m getting from Paula right now.
One story I particularly enjoy is how fatherhood plays into Courtney’s life and worldview. Pat Dugan is a steady and genuine source of support for her, but she sees all of these potential fathers around her and how they interact with their children. Starman’s violent tendencies were frustrating and disappointing for her, while the player’s back and forth of potential villainy was something of a whiplash for her. Across the street, Paula and Crusher are constantly under suspicion, but prove time and time again that providing their daughter with a good life is the most important thing to them.
It helps reinforce those ideas of heritage and generations that the show has been toying with from the start. All around the main characters are these symbols of the past and possibilities for the future, and they must decipher which symbols are worth remembering and which possibilities to pursue.
The sins of our fathers and mothers
It kinda reminds me of the first season of Riverdale, where the show focused primarily on how parents’ long list of bad decisions affect their children. That was before an organ harvester flew into space. Riverdale got weird. In the real world, we are at this pivotal point between the decisions of the Boomer generation and its aftermath, which particularly weighs on millennials and young people, and many young people have to look back at the way their parents behaved and think about what this means for the future.
star girl straddles a line between nerdy fun and modern sensibilities, but the show’s themes are a good reminder that star girl is being made right now, for today’s young viewers, as it digs deeper into the issues we are facing right now. The show sneaks around with its bright facade and fun characters, but the writers do a great job of giving it real weight that keeps it stuck in my mind every week.